Thursday, September 25, 2008

Personality talk, part 4

So, now you have discovered your "type" (go back to Personality Talk, part 2, if you are just joining us). The description is remarkably resonant with you. You are amazed that someone else has described you so accurately. (If you don't feel this way, you probably haven't found your true type yet-- keep searching!)

Now what? Obviously, knowing one's strengths and weaknesses is essential to set goals for personal growth, defining a self identity, and understanding why there are patterns in your behavior. I had fun discovering how much of "me" is related to my personality type. But I also had a surprise discovery. When I started reading about other types, I learned that there are ways of thinking or reacting to the world that I would never have conceived on my own (and I thought I had a pretty good understanding of people….)

In 1978, David Keirsey published Please Understand Me (and twenty years later, Please Understand Me II). He divided the 16 types (which he also ascribed descriptive names) into four Temperaments based on observable behaviors and viewpoints. Keirsey's four Temperaments are:

SP Artisans
(ISTP-crafter, ISFP-composer, ESTP-promoter, ESFP-performer)

SJ Guardians
(ISTJ-inspector, ISFJ-protector, ESTJ-supervisor, ESFJ-provider)

NF Idealists
(INFP-healer, INFJ-counselor, ENFP-champion, ENFJ-teacher)

NT Rationals
(INTP-architect, INTJ-mastermind, ENTP-inventor, ENTJ-fieldmarshal)

As an INFJ, I read the Idealist description and found myself nodding. Jason, an INTP, felt a resonance with the chapter about Rationals. The beauty of Keirsey's book is that he demonstrates the contrasts between temperaments in simple, but very effective ways. For example, in his chapter on mating he observes that each Temperament has a different style or goal in what they want from a mate. Artisans want a playmate, Guardians want a helpmate, Idealists want a soulmate, and Rationals want a mindmate. Here are a few more traits of each temperament for comparison:

value being: excited
aspire to be: virtuoso
trust: impulses
seek: stimulation
yearn for: impact
self-esteem comes from being: artistic
feel confident when being: adaptable

value being: concerned
aspire to be: executive
trust: authority
seek: security
yearn for: belonging
self-esteem comes from being: dependable
feel confident when being: respectable

value being: enthusiastic
aspire to be: sage
trust: intuition
seek: identity
yearn for: romance
self-esteem comes from being: empathetic
feel confident when being: authentic

value being: calm
aspire to be: wizard
trust: reason
seek: knowledge
yearn for: achievement
self-esteem comes from being: ingenious
feel confident when being: resolute

Wow! Now we can begin to understand each other better! No wonder Jason looks at me like I'm a dork when I say things will work out because "I just know they will." I trust intuition, he trusts reason. And you can just imagine how my yearning for romance and his yearning for achievement play out… ;) My parents are both Guardians, so Jason and I now understand when their trust of authority clashes with our points of view. And, gosh, I thought everyone knew what having a soulmate means... man, was I wrong! Learning how differently people view life has helped me understand others' behaviors, values, and motives when they differ from mine. As a typical idealist, I've always wondered why we can't all just get along. Now I've got some tools… mwah, ha, ha, ha… (remember, I am a counselor!).

Let me know if there are questions you'd like me to answer or ideas you'd like me to address in a future post about personality type.

(on to part 5)
(back to part 3)


SzélsőFa said...

Being an ISTJ, I was surprised by how many traits of the 'Artisan' suited me quite well. But then I read further on and found that traits listed for Guardians suit me even better.
I am called here an 'Inspector' and this is what my husband keeps accusing me of: I inspect the way he and my kids behave and point out the weak issues. Also I tend to give instructions all around me.
Now it's time my husband did this test. He must be an idealist.

I'm going to link you, too.

SzélsőFa said...

The video's ending's a kind of a shock. I hop this was not Fred and Ginger's last performance.
But the funny poem sometimes sums up most of the problems between two people.
They both think of a red round vegetable, but one says 'to-ma-to' and the other 'to-muh-to'.
That's why it is important to know the other's accent.

SzélsőFa said...

I mean: hope, not hop.

Precie said...

How interesting that Idealists (I am one) yearn for romance. I wouldn't have guessed that or characterized myself that way. But the rest of those Idealist characteristics are dead on.

I'll have to have my hubby take the quizzes and see what he is. I'm almost certain he's one of the Rationals...

Which would make for an interesting see if certain Keirsey types gravitate toward each other.

Aine said...

Szelsofa~ I love this: That's why it is important to know the other's accent. Exactly! If your husband is an Idealist, then I imagine you're his anchor. :)

Thanks for the link! I've been so busy starting blogging that I haven't gotten back to the basic set up. I've been intending to link to you since the start! :)

Precie~ I'm not into "mushy" romance at all either. But my ideas and values are "romantic" in that they tend to be idealistic. Take for example, the idea of a soulmate (it doesn't mean candles and flowers....) I'd love to hear what your husband is, too, since Jason and I are INFJ and INTP. It would be fun to hear from another such couple (if he is INTP I have something fun to show you called the INTP-INFJ Grand Mis-communication theory!).

And yes, many personality "scholars" report that studies have shown that the most common pairing is Artisan-Guardian (but then the majority of the population falls into those types, according to other studies...) And furthermore, that Idealist-Rational pairings are among the most successful. (But then, that's what Keirsey and his wife were.) So much of the personality data needs to be viewed with an understanding of the perspective of the author's own type.

I'm so glad to have you here. Your interest in this topic excites me! Thank you!

Precie said...

I'm pretty sure hubby is an ENTJ-fieldmarshal. (I tried taking the tests from his POV. Probably not entirely accurate. But the description sure is.) I'd bet money. Which means we're another Idealist/Rational pairing. Keirsey may have been on to something. ;)

Lana Gramlich said...

Although these things are all quite interesting, there's a danger in realizing you're an "INTJ-mastermind." It was bad enough when I found out my IQ is 187. Things like this do nothing for my superiority complex...but if it's true, is it a complex? ;) *L*

ChrisEldin said...

Too many things!!!

Love this Aine--I will have to come back and read everything!!

Szelsofa and I are almost opposites? That gives me hope, because I really really like her and enjoy her company. Would like to know about pairings...

Love the video clip! And I hope one day that hats come back. They're so elegant.

Lana is 187? I'm over there right now, only I don't know what question to ask...

I'm still INFJ. Wasn't sure after all these years...


katcampbell said...

My mother sent me the book Please Understand Me when I was in my mid twenties to solve an argument about whether I was an introvert or extrovert. I'm rather a textbook INFJ, married to the same. Interesting topic.

Aine said...

Precie~ I do the same thing, try to figure out what someone else is. It can be lots of fun as well as enlightening (and bonding) to then administer the test to them verbally(I use Keirsey's Temperament sorter in his book). Sometimes I'm right, but when I'm wrong it is most exciting because I can then understand who they are even better than before. I hope you have the opportunity to have such fun!

Lana~ welcome! It's only a complex if you don't accept the inherent strengths and weaknesses. :)

And, the label Mastermind doesn't mean it's all good-- trust me, I've known quite a few INTJs... LOL!

Glad to see you! I've been quietly enjoying your artwork for some time now.... :)

Chris~ Yay-- I had hoped to hear your type! Welcome to the club...

Actually, you and Szelsofa have only one letter different which means you'll find lots of resonance. (My mother is the same as Szelsofa and we have always been close.)

Ha!! I love your reaction to Lana's revelation! Somehow I bet her intelligence is in the realm of creativity-- perhaps she can demonstrate something for you (through artistic expression). Although, the INTJ suggests a true strength in logic and reasoning. Perhaps that's why the intelligence is so high-- her brain can do it all! (My typical INFJ rambling to find clarity is showing here... LOL).

Oh, and btw, your true type doesn't change. Your preferences are and always will be INFJ even if you strengthen the other functions sufficiently to use them with ease when you choose.

Kat~ Hi!! You have a wise mother! I've always wondered what it would be like to be with someone of the same type. It must be nice to feel the intense resonance. But the weaknesses of the type can be amplified. Thanks for sharing!

Ello said...

Well, as a mastermind I think that the MBTI is a very accurate instrument by which we see what a person's preferences are. However, it is important to remember that people have the ability to become comfortable working in different preferences and that most people do not live in their perfect world of preferences.

I remember this great story about two different instructors. One was ENTJ and the other was INTP. They were both great instructors. But the ENTJ was always energized and happy after each session wanting to go out and mingle with the crowd. The INTP was so drained and drenched in sweat that all he wanted to do was go to his room and pass out. It was the I/E component that gave them such different reactions.

Lana Gramlich said...

Aine; Believe me...I know that the Mastermind label isn't just all good. *L* Glad you've been enjoying the art, too. Nice to hear positive feedback, of course (even us "masterminds" need a pat on the back now & again. *LOL* ;)

Precie said...

LOL at Lana's mastermind type! I'm picturing Lana in place of The Brain from Pinky & the Brain. hee hee

ello--good point! I tend to think of the types as highlighting different sources of energy and interest. I can easily picture both those instructors in your example...and I can see them as equally effective instructors.

Aine said...

Ello~ Great point. It seems to me that living in our perfect world of preference would be comfortable, but no growth would occur. :P

Love the story! That's a great way to illustrate the E/I function.

Lana~ :D

Precie~ LOL-- Pinky and the Brain was one of Jason's favorites... must be a Rational thing... :)

Vesper said...

I took one of the tests, very quickly, and it appears that I'm an INTJ.
Interesting... I'll have to come back and do the other tests too and ponder more...
The course I was mentioning earlier was a psychology course - however my memory is bad in a very weird way; for instance, I remember with huge clarity the moment of the final written exam and the pleasure I took in it, but little else about what happened during this course, except for studying that interesting book... But was it a psychology course or something else?... Hmmm...:-)

Vesper de Vil said...

I am an INFP.

Aniket said...

Gosh... The one thing I hate most is being predictable!
I hate it when someone reads me through...
Sigh, but I must admit that this is fascinating.

Now I want more. :)